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PRUNUS cerasus 'Early Richmond'

Image of Prunus cerasus 'Early Richmond'

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

PRUNUS cerasus 'Early Richmond'

Plant Common Name

Early Richmond Tart Cherry, Sour Cherry

General Description

Sour cherry ‘Early Richmond’ bears an abundance of tart, flavorful, sweet/tart fruit up to two weeks earlier than the popular French variety, ‘Montmorency’. Cultivated since ancient times, sour cherries probably originated in eastern Europe or western Asia from a hybrid between sweet cherry, Prunus avium, and ground cherry, Prunus fruticosa.

This deciduous tree possesses a round, spreading form, thickly clad with shiny, toothed, dark green foliage. Its fragrant, cupped, white flowers bloom abundantly in spring. The large, succulent, bright red cherries ripen in early summer, and are a great seasonal treat for pies and desserts.

For best flowering and fruiting, sour cherries prefer a location in full sun and average, well-drained soil. Cut back any suckers which may develop at ground level; otherwise, little pruning is needed other than to maintain shape. They are not tolerant of areas with extremely high summer temperatures, and their early blossoms may be susceptible to killing frosts in spring. Sour cherries are self-fruitful and do not require a second pollinator plant; however, they are not suitable pollinators for sweet cherry varieties. Expect hungry songbirds to rob fruits from this tree unless covered in a protective netting.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Fruit

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m

  • Width

    20'-12' / 6.1m - 3.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin, Europe, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single, Double

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes